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A Reprieve, A Reconnection, And Restoration Of Balance

In Banter by Gerald DlubalaLeave a Comment

Finally, a reprieve.

I walked out onto the deck, down the stairs, and sat at a well-used cedar table. The bottle of bourbon and accompanying Glencairn in hand signaled an upcoming pour of my favorite, if for no other reason than I felt I was finally gaining ground, catching up, and possibly even starting to make headway and move forward. I say that because I’ve been missing in action from this forum for a while, trying to play catch-up in a situation that I can only describe as trying to swim in a pool of mud.

It started with a conference weekend away, closely followed by another, longer time away, more than a week and about 1800 miles in between, to be more exact. There was a moving truck involved, as well as a car on a trailer behind that. The trip home was eventful, thanks to a couple of tornados we tried to stay between while sailing our way through Kansas and Oklahoma. The trip ended in everyone, and everything, arriving at the predetermined destination, so all was good there. The whole trip was previously planned, and I felt that I was prepared for the adventure. I really did. But then the work caught up with me. And then it overtook me. It came in, followed by more work, and then a bigger project. Then, out of the blue, came a big, rush project, and just like that, I was in that pool of mud. I’m not complaining about the work, mind you. I’ll take all I can get. The timing was the issue, and so the catching up began and continues, even as I scribble these words down on paper.

On top of all that, that “life” thing decided to intervene and show its strength, so if I didn’t already know, life showed me that I’m not always in as much control as I think I am.

No sirree! Lesson learned as they say.

So for right now, I sit here, looking at, and into, that Glencairn, swirling the brown water around, and thinking. I took a sip, closed my eyes, and just enjoyed the moment.

Photo of The Glencairn Glass

There it was. That feeling I remember. That feeling that gave me my initial appreciation of the craft of bourbon distilling in the first place.

You see, I was a latecomer to the bourbon scene, and still am, quite frankly, a rookie in the bourbon drinking game. Oh, I can appreciate all the numbers, percentages, and sourcing information that’s thrown around, but at the end of that day, like many others, I still like what I like, regardless of the numbers and supposed greatness of the product.

And what I like is that feeling and satisfaction that I got when I tasted a bourbon that made me stop and take notice. I’m not talking about the younger days, when you drank whatever you could get cheap, ending up on the back of a mechanical bull in a town you couldn’t even remember. But hey, we’re not talking about that, now are we? No, we are not.

I’m talking about a bourbon that you tasted, pulled the glass away from your lips as far as your arm would reach, inspected that glass with the eye of a jeweler looking through his eyepiece, and thought to yourself, “Man, that is goooood”.

Photo of bourbon in a Glencairn glass in the sunlight

That’s the feeling I’ve been missing, because of life situations, and because I simply haven’t taken the time to do it. But that’s being corrected right now, because I took that sip, pulled that glass away from my lips, looked down at it, and thought, “Man, that is goooood”.

So where I am I going with this?

Well, that’s a darn good question and one that demands another drink from the bourbon swirling Glencairn as I ponder over an answer.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that seemingly not a day goes by now that some new bourbon isn’t uncorked among fireworks and sparklers, claiming to be the best. The marketing will have you believe and has no problem telling you that this bourbon is the absolute best thing to ever come out of a charred oak barrel, and you should be drinking it right now.

Until the next one.

I’ve had a few and sipped some others. And although they were good, very good, in some instances, I can’t say that they gave me that stop-and-take-notice feeling that the old favorite does. Is it because I’m comparing the actual bourbons, or am I just remembering the previous, enjoyable experiences that I had with my favorite, and now have a hard time replicating the whole scenario?

I guess it may have more to do with the latter, and under what circumstances those first sips were taken. But that’s OK because that’s how memories are made.

Photo of bourbon in a Glencairn during sunset

I appreciate the #drinkcurious hashtag and lifestyle that we at Bourbon and Banter promote because it is about broadening horizons and trying new things. Sometimes based on the suggestions of others and their memories, these choices may be good, some very good, but they won’t give us that moment that we’re looking for. That’s where the old favorite comes in. Because the bourbon that makes us stop and enjoy the moment, the one that slows life down to a more manageable pace, and the one that makes us remember how grateful we are for the people and circumstances in our life, is likely one that is already in your possession, just waiting for you to dust it off and get reacquainted.

#DrinkCurious

About the Author
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Gerald Dlubala

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Born and raised in the beer town of St Louis, it wasn’t until later in life that Gerald came to appreciate the calm, relaxing feeling that only a great pour of bourbon can provide. A seeker of simpler things, he enjoys a sip or two of bourbon in combination with the rolling smoke and crackle of a nearby grill or campfire. Gerald has over twenty years of experience as a creative storyteller, fiction writer, and content provider for websites and blogs. He has been published in local, national and international publications, and also crafts stories related to the inherent connection between man, fire, and nature on his grilling and storytelling blog, www.inkandembers.com. He is honored to join the Bourbon & Banter team, helping to spread the bourbon cheer.

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